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Panama City & The Pacific Coast

Itinerary Overview

  • 6 nights in luxury accommodations in Panama City and off the Pacific coast of Chiriquí province.
  • English-speaking private guide & driver for touring and transfers in Panama City.
  • Full board and choice of activities at Isla Palenque or Islas Secas.
  • Advance itinerary customization and restaurant reservations, as well as 24/7 in-country support.

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Day 1

Welcome to Panama!

Arrival into Panama City’s Tocumen international airport and private transfer to your luxury hotel in the historic Casco Viejo.

 

Panama City is easily reached from all large US gateway airports via major U.S. carriers as well as Copa Airlines, which also makes it a convenient stopover on the way to Colombia and other destinations in South America.

 

Check-in and remainder of the day at leisure. We’ll help you with some great dining and cocktail suggestions near your hotel.

 

Day 2

Exploration of Panama City

After breakfast, depart with your private English-speaking guide and driver for your full day exploration, beginning with a tale of two Panamas. You’ll head up to Ancon Hill (650 feet above sea level) for amazing 360-degree views of Panama City and the canal. During this visit, your guide will give you insight into Panama’s modern history, including the near century of U.S. presence in the country and how that helped create the country you see today. (Please note that Ancon Hill can only be accessed by walking up and down along a gradual path, as cars are not allowed.)

 

Your next stop visits the famous fish market where you will have a delicious ceviche tasting. This market was donated by the Japanese government in 1989 at a cost of 8 million dollars and opened its doors to the public in 1994. The idea was for local fishermen to greatly benefit from it and create a sustainable living for them and their families. Today the fish market is a most stop when visiting Panama City.

 

Afterwards, explore the historic and picturesque Casco Viejo, also known as the walled city. Casco Viejo was founded by Spanish in 1673 following the destruction of the original city of Panama (Old Panama). Together with Old Panama, the Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical and artistic value. As you walk around, your guide will tell you about the history that has shaped the culture and diverse population of the city. You’ll visit not only majestic squares and cafés but also areas of Casco to see places where locals do their shopping and carry about their daily lives.

 

This afternoon, you’ll see one of the modern wonders of the world with a VIP special access visit to the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal. Here you will learn about the history and construction of the Canal at the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and then you’ll go out and get up close to see a ship transit the canal.

 

OTHER IDEAS FOR TODAY:

 

  • Go in-depth behind the scenes with a special access visit to the control tower of the newer Cocoli locks
  • Visit an Emberá indigenous community in Chagres National Park
  • See the canal from the air, with a one-hour helicopter ride over the Canal zone and Panama City
  • Cook and enjoy authentic Panamanian dishes with a private rooftop cooking class, followed by dinner
  • Explore Jewish life in Panama City with a member of the community

Please note that the order of the day’s activities are subject to change based on weather conditions, availability and Canal operations.

 

Day 3

Rainforest Adventure Outside the Capital

You don’t have to venture very far outside the city to see why Panama is a nature lover’s paradise – and today you’ll get a glimpse with this full-day guided exploration of the surrounding rainforest and canal zone.

 

You’ll begin this morning by visiting Soberania National Park, a bio-diverse rainforest only 16 miles outside of the city. This incredible park encompassing 55,000 acres is known for its abundance of birds – over 525 known species – and is part of an ecotourism project of conservation and environmental sustainability. At the park, enjoy a walk on the trails to take in the rainforest scenery and discover its great variety of bird and mammal species, and climb the park’s observation tower (131 feet) to spy the famous blue cotinga and toucans in flight.

 

After lunch (included), continue for a private boat ride on Gatun Lake, a massive artificial lake that forms a major part of the Panama Canal. The lake is located within an immensely diverse tropical ecological zone and is surrounded by untouched exotic rainforest. A boat ride on the lake will reveal the area’s many different species of birds, monkeys, iguanas and sloths, among others. You will also have the opportunity to navigate close to massive ships as they wait to cross the Canal.

 

This is a perfect adventure for nature lovers, but also a great way to see a different but primary part of the Canal system! (Please note that the order of the day’s activities are subject to change based on weather conditions and availability.)

 

Day 4

Panama City to Chiriquí Province

After breakfast and check-out, meet your driver for private transfer to the airport (Tocumen or Albrook) for your flight to David, in western Panama’s fertile Chiriquí province. On arrival, you’ll be met by your driver for the shared land transfer (approx. 90 minutes) to the port of Boca Chica, where your resort staff will welcome you for the boat ride to either Isla Palenque or Islas Secas.

 

ISLA PALENQUE

The island’s 400 acres of lush jungle are framed by 7 untouched beaches and feature a number of wilderness trails and hidden spaces.  Isla Palenque’s focus on sustainability includes locally sourced ingredients, furniture made from trees that have fallen naturally on the island, and a small footprint with just 5% of the island developed and over half kept as a nature reserve. The professional and personalized service ensures that guests here feel both well cared for but also free to explore.

 

Stays here include accommodations in either the beachfront casitas or the private beachfront villa estate, as well as all meals, wifi, use of kayaks, paddle boards, island hikes and other on-site tours. Isla Palenque also offers guests a variety of optional off-property experiences including snorkeling, fishing, whale watching, island hopping and spa treatments – all of which can booked and paid for on-site.

 

Isla Palenque is much more than a typical beach vacation, and is the perfect spot for wildlife and nature lovers, those looking for and soft adventure beach vacation, and for families of all ages.

 

ISLAS SECAS

The luxurious property is located in an archipelago of 14 islands located 20 miles from the mainland, for a truly remote and pristine experience of one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. Just 25% of the archipelago has been developed, and the property operates with 100% natural energy for more sustainable tourism.

 

Here guests can choose either from tented casitas or the larger one-, two- and four-bedroom Casitas – almost all with their own private plunge pool. There is also a small spa on property, for a bit of pampering amid your days of snorkeling, boat trips to private islands, birdwatching and jungle hikes.

 

Stays here are inclusive of almost everything guests might want: all meals including beach picnics and barbecues; most beverages; fully stocked minibar replenished daily; all recreational and educational activities on-island; Scuba diving and snorkeling trips within the archipelago; non-motorized water sports activities; one private island getaway day; one half-day fishing trip; one 6-minute spa treatment and all land/boat transfers between David airport and Isls Secas.

 

Three nights is our minimum recommended stay at either of these incredible properties, but many guests stay 4-6 nights to fully relax and enjoy all each property has to offer.

 

Day 5

A Day on Panama's Pacific Coast

A full day to enjoy all that your resort has to offer.

 

Once your trip is confirmed, your Almaz Journeys Travel Designer will send you the full menu of options, both those included in your stay as well as optional add-ons.

 

Day 6

A Day on Panama's Pacific Coast

A full day to enjoy all that your resort has to offer.

 

Once your trip is confirmed, your Almaz Journeys Travel Designer will send you the full menu of options, both those included in your stay as well as optional add-ons.

 

Day 7

Return to Panama City and Onward

After breakfast and check-out, you’ll return by boat back to Boca Chica, where your driver will meet you for your shared land transfer back to David (approx. 90 minutes) for your return flight to Panama City or continuing on to explore the cloud forest and world-class coffee farms of Boquete, in the Chiriquí highlands.

 

Looking to spend some more time exploring this beautiful country?  Here are some ideas to tempt you to stick around.

 

  • Spend 3-4 nights enjoying the nature and Afro-Caribbean culture of Portobelo Bay, at El Otro Lado private retreat.
  • Check out the cloud forests surrounding Boquete in the Chiriquí Highlands, home to the resplendent quetzal and the world’s most expensive variety of shade-grown coffee, Gesha.
  • Sail the San Blas islands for a couple nights aboard your own private catamaran.

Private Journey PricingPer Person

Pricing Level
From Price Per Person
2 Guests Traveling - Isla Palenque

$4100

4 Guests Traveling - Isla Palenque

$3600

2 Guests Traveling - Islas Secas

$6250

4 Guests Traveling - Islas Secas

$5750

Included

  • 3 nights in Panama City: Cuarto room at American Trade Hotel.
  • 3 nights in Chiriqui province: Beachfront Casita at Isla Palenque or One-/Two- Bedroom Casita at Islas Secas.
  • Breakfast daily.
  • Lunch on days 3-6.
  • Dinner on days 4-6.
  • Private arrival and departure transfers in Panama City (assumes all guests on same flights.) English-speaking guide included when specified in itinerary.
  • Private, local English-speaking guides for all activities as described in the program in Panama City.
  • Shared airport transfers and activities at Isla Palenque, or shared airport transfers and private activities at Islas Secas. (Private activities available at an additional cost.)
  • Cost of entrance for all sights and experiences specifically included in your program.
  • 24/7 local emergency contact during your journey.
  • Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations.

Not Included

  • Air travel.
  • Lunches, dinners and alcoholic beverages unless otherwise specified in your program.
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel porters, etc. unless otherwise specified in your program.
  • Travel or medical evacuation insurance.
  • Any other items or services not specifically included in your itinerary.

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